SHAIKH ABÚ IS,HAK received the cognomen of Istakhrí from his native city of Istakhr or Persepolis, and he is also called Al Fársí, from the province of Fárs in which that city is situated. His travels extended through all the Muhammadan countries, from India to the Atlantic ocean, from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea. The time of his journies and the date of his work have not been precisely determined, but it is certain that he wrote about the middle of the tenth century (340 A.H., 951 A.D.). He was a little anterior in point of time to Ibn Haukal, but these two travellers met in the valley of the Indus, and exchanged observa­tions. A comparison of the following extracts will show how Ibn Haukal availed himself of his cotemporary's writings, and made them the basis of his own work. The text of Istakhrí's “Book of Climates” was published in lithography by Dr. Moeller, at Gotha, in 1839, under the title “Liber Climatum. It is a fac­simile of the MS. in the Gotha Library, which is the only one in Europe; but, although the lithography has evidently been exe­cuted with great care, the work is unsatisfactory, for the MS. is very faulty in the spelling of proper names. A translation from the same into German was printed at Hamburg in 1845, by Dr. Mordtmann, as “Das Buch der Länder.” The portion relating to Sijistán was translated into Italian by Signor Madini, and published at Milan in 1842.*


The country of Sind and the bordering lands are inserted in one map, which thus contains the country of Sind and portions of Hind, Kirmán, Túrán, and Budha.

CITIES OF SIND.—Mansúra, Debal, Nírúr* [Nírún], Kálwi [Kal-larí], Annarí, Balwí [Ballarí], Maswáhí, Nahraj, Bániya, Manhá-narí [Manjábari], Sadúsán, and Al Rúz [Alor].

CITIES OF HIND.—Amhal,* Kambáya, Súbára, Sindán, Saimúr, Multán, Jandrúd, and Basmand.

From Kambáya to Saimúr is the land of the Balhará, and in it there are several Indian kings. It is a land of infidels, but there are Musalmáns in its cities, and none but Musalmáns rule over them on the part of the Balhará. There are Jama' masjids in them. The city in which the Balhará dwells is Mánkír, which has an extensive territory.

Mansúra is about a mile long and a mile broad, and is surrounded by a branch of the Mihrán. The inhabitants are Musalmáns. The date tree and the sugar cane grow here. The land of Mansúra also produces a fruit of the size of the apple, which is called Laimún, and is exceedingly sour. The land also produces a fruit called Ambaj (mango), which is like the peach. The price of them is low, and they are plentiful. The dress of the people is like that of the people of 'Irák, but the dress of their kings resembles that of the kings of India in respect of the hair* and the tunic.

Multán is a city about half the size of Mansúra. There is an idol there held in great veneration by the Hindus, and every year people from the most distant parts undertake pilgrimages to it, and bring to it vast sums of money, which they expend upon the temple and on those who lead there a life of devotion. The temple of the idol is a strong edifice, situated in the most populous part of the city, in the market of Multán, between the bazar of the ivory dealers and the shops of the coppersmiths. The idol is placed under a cupola in the midst of the building, and the ministers of the idol and those devoted to its service dwell around the cupola. In Multán there are no men either of Hind or Sind who worship idols except those who worship this idol and in this temple. The idol has a human shape, and is seated with its legs bent in a quadrangular posture on a throne made of brick and mortar. Its whole body is covered with a red skin like morocco leather, and nothing but its eyes are visible. Some believe that the body is made of wood, some deny this; but the body is not allowed to be uncovered to decide the point. The eyes of the idol are precious gems, and its head is covered with a crown of gold, It sits in a quadrangular position on the throne, its hands resting upon its knees, with the fingers closed, so that only four can be counted. When the Indians make war upon them and endeavour to seize the idol, the inhabitants bring it out, pretending that they will break it and burn it. Upon this the Indians retire, otherwise they would destroy Multán. Mansúra is more fertile. At half a parasang from Multán there is a large cantonment,* which is the abode of the chief, who never enters Multán except on Fridays, when he goes on the back of an elephant, in order to join in the prayers of that day. The governor is of the tribe of Kuraish, and is not subject to the ruler of Mansúra, but reads the khutba in the name of the khalífa.

Samand* is a small city situated like Multán, on the east of the river Mihrán; between each of these places and the river the distance is two parasangs. The water is obtained from wells.

The city of Al Rúr approaches Multán in size. It has two walls, is situated near the Mihrán, and is on the borders of Mansúra.

Nírúr* is half way between Debal and Mansúra.

From Saimúr to Fámhal, in Hind, and from Fámhal to Makrán and Budha, and beyond that as far as the boundaries of Multán, all belong to Sind. Budha is there a desert.

The people of Multán wear trousers, and most of them speak Persian and Sindí, as in Mansúra.

Makrán is a large territory, for the most part desert and barren. The largest city in Makrán is Kannazbún.*

Kandábíl is a great city, The palm tree does not grow there. It is in the desert, and within the confines of Budha. The cultivated fields are mostly irrigated. Vines grow there, and cattle are pastured. The vicinity is fruitful. Abíl is the name of the man who subdued this town, which is named after him.

DISTANCES.—From Tíz* to Tír [Kíz] about five days. From Kíz* to Kannazbún two days. Going from Kannazbún to Tíz, in Makrán, the road passes by Kíz. From Kannazbún to Darak three days. From Rásak to Fahalfahúh* three days. From thence to Asghafa* two days. From thence to Band one day. From Band to Bah* one day. From thence to Kasrkand* one day. From Kíz to Armábíl* six days. From Armábíl to Kambalí* two days. From thence to Debal four days. From Mansúra to Debal six days. From Mansúra to Multán twelve days. From Mansúra to Túrán fifteen days. From Mansúra to the nearest frontier of Budha five days. From Budha to Tíz about fifteen days. The length of Makrán from Tíz to Kasdán is about fifteen days. From Multán to the nearest border of the tongue (of land) known as Biyálas* about ten days. Here the Mihrán must be crossed to get into the land of Budha. From Kandábíl to Mansúra eight days. From Kandábíl to Multán, by the desert, about ten days. Between Mansúra and Kámhal* eight days. From Kámhal to Kambáya four days. From Kambáya to the sea about two parasangs. From Kambáya to Súrabáya about four days, and Súrabáya is about half a parasang from the sea. Between Súrabáya and Sindán about five days. From Sindán to Saimúr five days. Between Saimúr and Sarandíb fifteen days. Between Multán and Basmand about two days. From Basmand to Al Rúz three days. From Al Rúz to Annarí four days. From Annarí to Kallarí two days. From thence to Mansúra one day. From Debal to Tíz four days. From thence to Manjábarí two days. From Kálwí* [Kállarí] to Maldán [Multán?] about four days. Baband* lies between Mansúra and Kámhal at one day's journey from Mansúra.

There is a river in Sind called the Mihrán.* It is said that it springs from the summit of a mountain from which many affluents of the Jíhún rise.* The Mihrán passes by the borders of Samand* and Al Rúr (Alor) to the neighbourhood of Multán; from thence to Mansúra, and onwards until it joins the sea to the east of Debal. Its water is very sweet. It is said that there are crocodiles in it as large as those of the Nile. It rises like as the Nile rises, and inun­dates the land, which on the subsidence of the water is sown in the manner we have described in the land of Egypt. The Sind Rúd is about three stages from Multán. Its water is very sweet, even before it joins the Mihrán. Makrán is mostly desert, and has very few rivers. Their waters flow into the Mihrán on both sides of Mansúra.